Brazilian Grilling

Chef Evandro Caregnato from Texas de Brazil joins Good Day to talk about grilling the Brazilian way.


Oven-Roasted Picanha

The ideal way of cooking picanha is over an open-flame grill with natural wood charcoal. However, oven-roasted picanha is an excellent alternative for those who prefer to cook indoors with much less labor involved.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

1 whole picanha (about 2 1⁄2 lb/1 kg)   [Picanha is a cut of beef popular in Brazil. In the U.S. it is little known, but referred to as the rump cover, rump cap or coulotte]
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 250°F.

Pat the picanha dry with a paper towel.

Place the picanha fat side up on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, carefully trim the fat cap to about 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) thick. (While this may seem like too much fat, it will melt away as the meat cooks.)

Turn the picanha over and remove any silver skin from the bottom of the meat. Season generously with pepper and salt on all sides of the beef-you should be able to see the salt crystals on the meat.

Place the picanha fat side up in a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet that is slightly larger than the meat. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the internal temperature is about 110°F; by then, the meat will look grayish and the fat will not show any color.

Remove the picanha from the oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Turn up the oven to the broil setting and wait until the temperature reaches at least 500°F-the oven needs to be very hot.

If necessary, adjust the rack so that the meat will sit 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) away from the top of the oven.
When the oven reaches optimum temperature, quickly remove the aluminum foil and place the meat back in the oven.

Broil for 7 to 12 minutes, checking the meat closely and often. The fat should turn a dark golden color, but it can burn very quickly if you don't pay attention. Let the meat get as much color as possible; only remove it from the oven when it turns mahogany brown in color.

After removing from the oven, let the meat rest for 10 minutes or longer. An extended period of resting makes some cuts of beef more tender, and it stabilizes the natural juices so that less will run when you carve the meat.

After it rests, transfer the meat to a wooden cutting board and serve.


Papaya Cream

The dessert that looks like a thick milkshake. Served in a goblet. This is the must-have dessert when dining at a churrascaria. [A churrascaria is a place where meat is cooked in churrasco style, which translates roughly from the Portuguese for 'barbecue'.] [Papaya aids in digestion-not a bad thing after consuming all that protein.] The papaya should be ripe, sweet, and have a deep orange color. The ice cream should be the creamiest and richest you can find with natural vanilla flavor.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 pint (500 ml) gourmet-quality vanilla ice cream
1 medium ripe papaya
Crème de cassis liqueur (optional)

Chill four 16-ounce (475 ml) goblets, parfait glasses, or other serving dishes in the freezer.

Move the ice cream from the freezer to the refrigerator or kitchen counter to soften lightly, but don't let it melt.

While the ice cream is softening, peel the papaya; make sure to peel deeply because the lighter-colored membrane just under the skin is bitter.

After peeling, split the papaya lengthwise. Remove all of the seeds and any white membrane from the inside of the papaya with a spoon. Be very sure that all the seeds are removed; a single missed seed blended with the ice cream will turn the dessert bitter and almost inedible.

Cut the papaya into small cubes and transfer to the freezer for about 5 minutes to chill; you will need 1 1⁄2 cups (210 g) in total.

Add the chilled papaya and the slightly softened ice cream to an electric blender; blend at medium speed until very smooth and creamy with no lumps, about 30 seconds.

If necessary, turn off the blender and use a spatula to scrape the sides and mix the ingredients; then remove the spatula and turn the blender on again.

Remove the chilled goblets from the freezer and divide the papaya ice cream mixture between them.

If using the crème de cassis, add a splash over the dessert before serving.

Do not mix the crème de cassis with the dessert-it tastes better when you take spoonfuls of the papaya cream and the liqueur is sitting on the side of the spoon.        

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